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J Immunol. 2003 Jan 1;170(1):99-106.

OX40 ligand-transduced tumor cell vaccine synergizes with GM-CSF and requires CD40-Apc signaling to boost the host T cell antitumor response.

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  • 1Immunotherapy and Gene Therapy Unit, Department of Experimental Oncology, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.


Efficient T cell priming by GM-CSF and CD40 ligand double-transduced C26 murine colon carcinoma is not sufficient to cure metastases in a therapeutic setting. To determine whether a cellular vaccine that interacts directly with both APC and T cells in vivo might be superior, we generated C26 carcinoma cells transduced with the T cell costimulatory molecule OX40 ligand (OX40L) either alone (C26/OX40L) or together with GM-CSF (C26/GM/OX40L), which is known to activate APC. Mice injected with C26/OX40L cells displayed only a delay in tumor growth, while the C26/GM/OX40L tumor regressed in 85% of mice. Tumor rejection required granulocytes, CD4+, CD8+ T cells, and APC-mediated CD40-CD40 ligand cosignaling, but not IFN-gamma or IL-12 as shown using subset-depleted and knockout (KO) mice. CD40KO mice primed with C26/GM/OX40L cells failed to mount a CTL response, and T cells infiltrating the C26/GM/OX40L tumor were OX40 negative, suggesting an impairment in APC-T cell cross-talk in CD40KO mice. Indeed, CD4+ T cell-depleted mice failed to mount any CTL activity against the C26 tumor, while treatment with agonistic mAb to CD40, which acts on APC, bypassed the requirement for CD4+ T cells and restored CTL activation. C26/GM/OX40L cells cured 83% of mice bearing lung metastases, whereas C26/OX40L or C26/GM vaccination cured only 28 and 16% of mice, respectively. These results indicate the synergistic activity of OX40L and GM-CSF in a therapeutic setting.

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